With over 700 registered riders, DCCX, race #5 in the BikeReg.com MABRAcross Series, is one of the biggest shows in cyclocross the East Coast will see this year. It is also the battleground for several close Verge Sport MABRAcross leaders jersey competitions.
After looking through the crossresults.com rankings, poring over the crossresults.com race predictor data, and taking into consideration course conditions, weather, barometric pressure, astrology tables and a host of other factors, it’s not hard to conclude that the Masters 1/2/3 race is one to watch closely. Not only are all the top jersey contenders signed up for Sunday’s showdown at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, but the top five are separated by less than 45 points. Although we may not normally ask you to do any math, this one is pretty easy. A win gets you 60 points. That means any one of these top five guys could be pulling on the leader jersey at one of the biggest races they may attend all year.
Kris Auer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) currently wears the jersey after consistent top finishes in all four BikeReg.com MABRAcross series races. Ron Huebner (Evolution), coming off a victory at Hyattsville CX and a strong showing at Granogue—where in Sunday’s race he finished just ahead of Auer, is only 16 points away from snatching the jersey off the C3 boss’ shoulders. Tied with Huebner for second place is Mike Birner (Ben’s Performance Bikes), who absent a rare subpar showing at the BCA Cyclocross Challenge would most certainly be wearing the jersey today. Randy Root slots in after Birner and teammate Huebner, 42 points behind the winner. Tied with Huebner is Yanni “Big Papa” Papadopoulos who returns to MABRAcross after a big win at the Winchester Apple Harvest Cross. Throw powerhouses Dave Weaver (ALAN) and Blair Saunders (Ben’s Performance Bikes) into the mix and this race is going to be fast and furious as these guys put everything on the line.
The other points competition we want to highlight this week is the Mens 3/4 field, which has turned into a battle between two guys—Sean O’Donnell (TOMS Shoes) and Adam Williams (Winchester Wheelmen)—who should not be long for their category. Current Verge Sport leader jersey wearer Rob Sheffield (NCVC) has already made the leap to the 1/2/3 field to battle it out with the big guns. After two wins and a second place in the 3/4 category, we are certain Rob will fare just fine with the big boys.
O’Donnell and Williams sit 34 points apart from each other and O’Donnell is just two points away from reclaiming the leader’s jersey. Williams, O’Donnell and Sheffield formed a three man group during the Hyattsville CX race that left the field behind. Adam and Sean will most definitely be keeping an eye out for each other and this will certainly produce one of those exciting “race within the race” situations.
Of course, the rider that will make the biggest leap in points—from tenth to around fourth after Sunday’s race—is DCCX co-promoter Matt Donahue. According to the crossresults.com race predictor, Donahue is destined to win the 3/4 race. We understand that he hasn’t slept or trained much trying to make sure DCCX goes off without a hitch, but that doesn’t matter. Make sure you do Matty a favor and constantly remind him during his race that he is obligated to win.
Also worth noting is the speedy ascent of Laurel Larson (Syn-Fit), who will be racing the elite race after great success in the lower categories. Larsen’s success opens the door for the Women 3 field to battle it out for the top spot.
Finally, the team competition is really starting to hot up. C3-Athletes Serving Athletes currently holds a six point lead over Haymarket/SEAVS, with Adventures For The Cure not too far back in third. For DCCX, a little extra firepower will be rolling into town for the top squads. Dee Dee Winfield, Arley Kemmerer and Wes Schempf stand poised to have strong races for C3. Will the addition of Stephen “Steevo” Cummings to the dynamic duo of Jared Nieters and Joe Dombrowski be enough to give Haymarket the lead? Or is this the breakout race for Adam Driscoll and Pat Blair of AFC? It’s really hard to say. But one thing is certain, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun finding out.
MABRAcross looks forward to the big crowds, frites and cool beverages on Sunday and wishes everybody a hard, fast and safe race. For more information on the series visit MABRAcross.org. For current Verge Sport leaders jersey point totals and team standings visit crossresults.com.
Verge Sport MABRAcross Jersey Leaders:
- Men 1/2/3 Jared Nieters
- Women 1/2 Patty Buerkle
- Masters 1/2/3 Kris Auer
- Men 3/4 Rob Sheffield
- Women 3 Laurel Larsen
- Masters 3/4 35+ Neil Schirmer
- Masters 1/2/3/4 55+ Fred Wittwer